Kerry Profile picture
12 Jan, 6 tweets, 1 min read
Involuntary social distancing has to end now. Trapping everyone inside with the news/Internet, in such a low-trust environment, is breaking people's brains. So many people are falling down rabbit holes they otherwise would not have, with no way of climbing back out.
These are pre-existing psychological tendencies prevalent in many, many people being activated by stress and distrust. It's a mistake to think of it as primarily caused by a defect in character, politics, irrationality, etc. That stuff isn't new--the overall environment is.
It's not something people have much rational control over. The only way to correct it is to get people out of the siege mentality and and focused on other things. They need to interact with other Americans, not the media's polarized caricature of other Americans.
We need to dial everything down right now and stop trying to tell people what they're not allowed to think. Everyone should see by now this is not working. It's backfiring. We all need to focus on more constructive thinking, and that will attract others.
I used to work for a lawyer who had clients that displayed the same behavior I'm seeing everywhere. It alarms me. They were all people who had some rough experiences that destroyed their trust and ability to make sense of things. It generally didn't end well.
I was young, but can say from experience that keeping some sort of dialogue open struck me as much more sensible than shunning them and sending them further into the spiral. Disapproval and isolation was the last thing likely to elicit a better response.

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More from @kerry62189

24 Dec 20
🧵 The conversation surrounding this is confused in ways that really backfire. For example, you often hear that the Founders more or less "wanted gridlock to be the norm," for it to be "hard to get anything done," to guard against radical change.
Naturally, this tends to lessen the public's respect for the whole system. It doesn't sound very attractive, or at least sounds like a particularly inefficient way of guarding against radical change. "They wanted to force compromise," is better, but also backfires.
It confuses the public into being mad that everyone "can't just get a long and compromise," like it's a matter of personal attitudes and conflict is a sign something is wrong. A more invigorating and accurate framing:
Read 16 tweets
24 Dec 20
🧵 Guess it's a good time to stick with the pardon theme. Jonathan Turley is one of the vanishingly few people who discusses the pardoning power as it actually exists. He recently pointed out the total absurdity of the general discussion and its fixation with imaginary "norms."
I've probably never seen such an elaborate misrepresentation of a legal concept as I have of the pardoning power. This pre-dates Trump and isn't a partisan issue, but it has gotten a lot worse lately. But the concept seems to generate uniquely confused legal analysis.
The frantic resistance to the idea that such a power could be absolute is a defining feature of the last few decades. The philosophy of government behind it was once non-controversial, even if the pardons themselves were. Now no one can conceive of it.
Read 16 tweets
23 Dec 20
🧵 History of the pardon power is very interesting. I consider the dynamic similar to SCOTUS having discretion over what cases it will hear. There are some cases that the country cannot afford to decide either way. Pardons are a way to dodge such a decision.
The whole point is they don't come down on one side of the dispute or the other; they remove the dispute from the system altogether. That is why Congress should have nothing to do with it. It cannot be partisan or majority driven. That would legitimate rather than neutralize.
A ton of pardons are for rebellion, treason, sedition, mutiny, and insubordination. In these cases, the behavior probably met the legal definition of treason, but getting into the issue of whether the person was a traitor "in spirit" was not desirable. We can see why:
Read 14 tweets
23 Dec 20
I don't agree with all every tweet in the thread, but I agree with the general diagnoses. I'm surprised that more people aren't saying something similar, especially in discussions about censorship and free speech.

This is why I'm not comfortable with declaring religious thinking fundamentally opposed to politics. Making your politics your religion is dangerous, but I'm not sure it is *more* dangerous than believing politics has an autopilot setting.

Read 7 tweets
22 Dec 20
This seems pretty close to saying that the restrictions are designed to signal the state's disapproval of people socializing with friends and family.
I don't think this is justifiable. I don't think there's been a connection demonstrated between these restrictions and the threat to hospital capacity. But all that aside, we're canceling medical procedures and hassling business owners in order to "send a message" to *others.*
And we don't even know if it the messaging works, or if there's even much danger from people seeing friends and family. As far as I can tell, people are pretty careful in MA, and wear masks reliably.
Read 10 tweets
22 Dec 20
My conscience compels me to sound like a crank and say that minimizing *overall* virus spread was never a remotely justifiable policy. It led to cruel policies like prohibiting family and overly invasive care, as well as postponing urgent non-covid care.…
I've been aghast since March, and it's still going on. There is no possible justification for some of these tradeoffs, and they still can't admit fallibility. The virus is dangerous to hospital patients, and it would seem the solution to that is separate facilities and staff.
They (I assume hospital execs, intimidated by the fantasies of the media and some public health authorities) tossed all tradeoffs and common sense out the window, and put doctors in a terrible position. Telling quotes from doctors have been scattered in the press all along.
Read 5 tweets

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